Hermana Kiley Eliason

Prolongación Adolfo López Mateos #98A

Colonia Trojes de Alonso

C.P. 20116 Jesus Maria,

Aguascalientes, Mexico

My email address: kiley.eliason@myldsmail.net

Monday, December 29, 2014

Merry Christmas

P-day was a lot of fun!  After cleaning our house we met up with the Sister Missionaries in our district (Hermana Cuque and Hermana Empey)  We took the tour of San Luis on the double decker bus because none of them had ever done it.  And although it was my third time, it was still lots of fun  :)  I learned that Tangamanga means "place of water and gold"  And tons of the cathedrals and buildings here were built back in the 1700's.  It is so beautiful here.  We all ate Subway together after.

Hermana Gonzalez and me in the capital. I lost the bet on 
counting Santas, so I bought us banana splits
Then we celebrated Aida Jr's 24th birthday.  It was so nice of her to invite us because we were the only people apart from family that attended.  Oh, and we had bought her a cute balloon in the Capital, that said something along the lines of "each year you are more pretty and we hope all your wishes come true"  After cake and ice cream she gave Hermana Gonzalez and I each Christmas gifts - so thoughtful.  They were cute scarves that we wore the rest of the day.

In the evening, a less active family invited us to eat dinner with them and I fell in love with their adorable puppy named Gus!  Then to top things off, we had a Family Home Evening with a recent convert family.  After an inspirational message we played games and had dessert  :)  What an awesome day!

Tuesday, we had the district meeting and I loved the talk Hermana Gonzalez gave about Joseph Smith (today was his birthday)  I am so incredibly grateful for Joseph Smith and all he did for us.  In the evening when we visited Teodulo & Maria they gave us a little nativity for us to set up in the house.  They are so thoughtful.  Before heading home, we visited Hermana Elena Juarez (the member that bought us the hats and shoes)  Well, her brother was there and he told us about his amazing experience as a patriarch.  He is pretty old now and has Parkinsons Disease, so he was released from the calling but testified to us about Priesthood power.  It was a very special experience.

This was taken Christmas day. 
We had fun with the sparklers and some kids
Wednesday - Christmas Eve - is celebrated here more than Christmas Day.  Before lunch we visited Hermana Campos because we knew she'd been spending the day alone.  She was so thrilled that we took the time to see her and thanked us many times.  I hope we never forget to take a little time to visit those that might be lonely.  After eating, Hermana Gonzalez and I visited a less active family to teach them about gratitude.  I am so amazed by how happy these people are when they only receive one or two simple presents for Christmas.  They truly have taught me how to be grateful for things that really matter, like good health or time with the family.  They gave us tons of candy and we even lit up a few sparklers outside with the kids  :)

Christmas Eve dinner was fantastic.  We spent the evening in the house of Any Rodriguez.  Her son was actually in the MTC at the same time as Hermana Gonzalez!  Small world.  We ate together, took lots of pictures, and enjoyed each other's company.  Hermana Any even gave us our own Christmas presents and I felt at home.  These members have become like family to me and I am so grateful for all their love.
With Hermana Any

Thursday!  Merry Christmas everyone!  It was a wonderful day for me.  As a zone we watched a Christmas movie in the stake center and ate popcorn, chips, cake, etc.  It was fun to be with the other missionaries and chat with everyone.
This photo was taken on Christmas morning with the zone. when I found out we WEREN'T going to watch Frozen, ....this was the face I decided to make for the photo ;) haha

At lunch we ate a Christmas feast with Hermana Cervantes.  She is an abstract artist and always gives us decorations for our house - like our little Christmas tree.  She had all of her family over, so there were lots of people and commotion.  The best part of the day was when we were able to skype our families!!  It was the best Christmas present I could have asked for, and I loved hearing my family and seeing each of them.  They mean so much to me and I couldn't believe how fast the time flew by.  But, at least I won't have to wait as long to see them again - in 5 months I talk to them for Mother's Day  :)

Then in the evening we spent some time at Monica's house.  Pretty much this ward is made up of two big families whose children & friends all married each other.  And at the house we saw everyone!  It was a lot of fun and they offered to feed us even more food.  By the end of the night I was sick of eating and have never felt so full!

While waiting for dinner, Hermana Gonzalez and
I took a ton of selfies for your viewing pleasure
So, Friday we did our weekly planning and Hermana Gonzalez and I set some goals & New Year Resolutions for 2015!  I can't believe an entire year has flown by!  Then for lunch we ate left-overs at Hermana Any's house from the Christmas Eve dinner.  I've eaten so much food these past few days.  
Our investigator Lulu gave us mascara as little Christmas gifts - she's so sweet.  In the evening we visited another new investigator named Enriqueta.  She is great and is a single mother of 3 teenage girls.  Get this ... her youngest daughter, who is only 13 years old is almost 6 foot!! They are really receptive & love our visits.

At night we had our exchanges with one of the sister companionships.  I went to another area to spend the following day with Hermana Carreto.

Saturday was a lot of fun with Hermana Carreto.  She arrived in Mexico in the same "generation" as me and we have always considered each other friends.  She is from Puebla, Mexico and actually wants to study marketing at BYU one day.  I love her positive outlook on life and patience.  She's what I would call a "peace maker."  Hermana Carreto has a huge heart and is so thoughtful.  We made several visits and set some goals on how she can improve.

On Sunday, our last Sunday of the year, we had a great sacrament meeting where the speakers addressed us about the importance of self-reflection and goal setting.  They challenged us to set goals for the new year of 2015 and strive to become better.  I loved it.  I am determined to set several new goals for the upcoming year  :)  Teodulo and Maria came to church and so did Lulu and Brandon.  The Gospel Principles class that Hermana Gonzalez & I taught the 3rd hour went well.  We talked about prayer and the Holy Ghost - which are two important things that go hand-in-hand.  After the third hour we went back to the house for a little before lunch.  We were served a ton of food with the Amaya family.  They are  so great (all their children have served missions) and they treat us like their own kids.  They gave us Christmas gifts and tomorrow Hermana Gonzalez and I are going to download new music from their huge collection of church songs!!  In the evening we made visits and all went really well.  I am in love with this work and this area and couldn't be happier  :)

Hope everyone has a fantastic New Years!!  Don't forget to set goals for yourself and enjoy some fireworks for me  :)  I love you all more than I can describe and am incredibly grateful for all the prayers on my behalf.

Con mucho amor,
Hermana Eliason

Christmas with the elders 

Kids, sparklers & Christmas Eve

Building at the capital

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Lots of Emotions

So, on Monday, I had to say good-bye to Hermana Mora  :(  She boarded the bus at 10 am and since the new companions wouldn’t be arriving from Zacatecas for a few hours, several sister missionaries and I went to the central.  I was with Hermana Perez, Hermana Fullmer, Hermana Franco, Hermana Funk, and Hermana Tobar.  We all bought our gifts for the gift exchange we are going to have on Wednesday  :)  I was assigned to Elder Fuentes (my previous zone leader) and wanted to buy something unique - and not the classic tie.  So I got him a head massager, a foot massager, and a shoulder rubber thing (kind of hard to describe), but they were super cool, and after a long hard day of missionary work he can use them to relax.  I thought it was pretty creative.  Then we all ate tacos and ice cream together before heading back to wait for our new companions.  When Hermana Gonzalez arrived, I was nervous, but also excited.  I quickly learned that we are similar in many ways.  She is 22 years old and from Tijuana, Baja California.  She’s the oldest of 4 and is studying to be an elementary school teacher.
This is my new awesome companion!! Her name is hermana Gonzalez
this is us today when we went to the capital.

When we went to the computer cyber to write our families, I learned of some heart-breaking news.  My Mom informed me that my Grandma Sue (my Mother’s Mom) had passed away suddenly and unexpectedly.  I cried in the cyber, pulled myself together for our evening visits and then balled once we returned home.  I must admit, that it was the saddest and most emotional moment I’ve had in the mission so far.

On Tuesday morning, I woke up with my eyes so swollen that we chilled some manzanilla tea bags to put on my eyes.  The rest of the day people kept asking me if I was sick or why my eyes were so red and puffy - so that was embarrassing, but I was able to testify to several people that the Plan of Salvation is real.  That although I won’t return from the mission and see my Grandma, I know that after this life I will be with her again.  I love this gospel because it provides comfort and hope.  Even when our loved ones pass away, we can feel peace because we are familiar with the Plan that God created for our families.  We can all be together again one day - I know that our relationships are eternal.

After our district meeting, Hermana Gonzalez and I had some great lessons - including with 2 new investigators that a member introduced us to.  Serving others and teaching the people here has really changed my point of view and has given me a greater appreciation for all the blessings that I’ve been given.  I love the mission and it is a privilege to serve as a representative of Jesus Christ in this area.  I can’t explain in words how happy I am and how grateful I feel.
With Hermana Anderson

With Hermana Gonzalez
With Hermana Perez
Wednesday was just fantastic!  We got together with the other 3 zones in San Luis Potosi to have our Christmas celebration with the Mission President and his wife.  It was a blast!  I was able to see and socialize with so many of my missionary companions & friends.  We ate breakfast and lunch together and had our gift exchange.  It was fun to see what all the other missionaries had bought  :)  My gift was a 8GB memory stick and a super cute hat / beanie from Hermana Cuque.

Then each zone sang a musical number - and of course our zone was unique because we all had bought Christmas hats.  :)  I think our zone is awesome.  We took lots of pictures and I couldn’t stop smiling.
All the sister missionaries currently serving in San Luis

We finished around 4:30pm and Hermana Gonzalez and I squeezed in 3 visits.  We taught Lulu, her neighbor, Monica, and then Hermana Toleda.  It was a beautiful day and I enjoyed every moment.

Thursday went well.  After our weekly planning, we visited Hermano Jose, who still seems to be radiating light from his baptism  :)  Then we helped Irma make 100 San Luis enchiladas!  It was fun and she gave us each one enchilada to snack on.  The enchiladas here are different from other states and are known for their orange color.  Afterwards a member accompanied us with Teodulo and Maria.  Teodulo decided he wants to get baptized on his birthday - but that’s not until February 17th !!  We are trying to convince them that January 17th would be just as special  :)

Here i am with some of the elders from my generation!

Friday we made a lot of visits in the morning before lunch, which all went well.  In the evening was the Ward Christmas Party and Artuo and Brandon showed up!  They are the 2 new investigators that came to church last Sunday and are golden!  We ate, played games, and had a small devotional / activity.  Oh, and yes, there was a piñata!  :)  Hermana Gonzalez and I get along super well and are always laughing.  She’s a lot of fun and although we’ve only been together as companions for a week, I can tell we are going to have a great time!

Hermana Gonzalez and I with Hermana Villareal
Saturday was a fantastic day!  Wow, I am just so excited for the progress I’ve seen here and all the people who want to be baptized  (we are expecting a lot of baptisms in January :) )  

Today we visited lots of investigators, including Teodulo and Maria.  Teodulo was excited when he learned that once he’s baptized, he will be able to receive the Priesthood.  During the lesson he asked us  “Do you think the Bishop is ever nervous when he speaks in front of everyone at the pulpit?”  And before we could reply, his wife surprised us by saying, “Don’t worry, with practice one day you too can speak at the pulpit and won’t be nervous.”  It was incredible how strongly I felt the Spirit and I can truly see Teodulo being a great leader in the church some day.  

In the afternoon we taught a new investigator about the importance of prophets - and that if there excited prophets in ancient times, shouldn’t we still have prophets in our current time if God is the same “yesterday, today, and forever?”  She totally agreed with us and at the end of the lesson was bold in her reply to our invitation to pray about what we’d explained.  She said, “I don’t need to ask, because I know what you taught me is true.  The true church must have a current prophet.”   She is super smart and really interested in our message.  

Then to top the night off, we had an excellent lesson with Artuo and Brandon who are the most prepared investigators that I’ve ever met!!  They want to be baptized as soon as possible and are really motivated to start reading the Book of Mormon.  All I can say at the end of the day is … Wow.  The Lord is truly “hastening the work” and preparing so many people here!

Have a great week!
Hermana Eliason

Thursday, December 18, 2014


On Monday I didn't wake-up feeling 100%, but after a warm peppermint tea with honey & some congestion / flu pills, I felt better  :)  A member in the ward invited us to go shoe shopping - exactly what I desperately needed!  She ended up buying Hermana Mora and I new and comfortable Flexi shoes that should last me the rest of my mission!  I am extremely grateful for the incredible people here who take such good care of me!  In the evening we created Jose's baptismal programs & burned the "He Is The Gift" video to show to everyone who attends on Friday  :)  Getting everything ready for the baptism is so exciting.

Then on Tuesday, we had our last district meeting before changes (on the 14th).  I hope Hermana Mora and I don't have changes.  At lunch we ate a "special meat" that can only be found in Vera Cruz - but the member's husband had recently come back from a business trip there, and brought some of the meat back with him.  It was yummy, but kinda scared me a little because it's bright red color gave the impression that it wasn't cooked enough - although it really was  :)  In the evening before exchanges, we went over the baptismal questions with Jose and he told us that he's been studying each day.

Wednesday, I spent the day with Hermana Rodriguez (a different Hermana Rodriguez).  She is 21 and the youngest in her family, and from Merida, Yucatan.  She is incredible because her dad and brother aren't members, and she's out here serving a mission with the hope that they'll accept the missionary lessons while she's gone.  We worked hard together, and made each other laugh easily  :)

In the morning we helped a member put up her Christmas tree, and she rewarded us with home-squeezed orange juice.  In the evening, we encountered new investigators named Stephanie & Allejandro who watched the "He is the Gift" video and really enjoyed the message we shared afterwards.  The only bummer is that they're going out of town - like many others - for the holidays.  So our next lesson with them wouldn't be until January  :(

Thursday I completed my one year mark!  On December 11th last year, I was entering the CCM in Provo, Utah!  WOW the time really has flown.  I am so happy to be here in Mexico  :)  We taught Teodulo & Maria, and they're going to do everything possible to attend the baptism tomorrow.  Then in the evening we visited a less active member & her son who isn't a member.  We talked about our purpose here in life.  For me, it is easier to make the right decisions and focus on what is truly important, if I think about why I'm here and what I must accomplish.  Now I can see that I am happier serving and visiting people rather than wasting so much precious time "connected" to my phone, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, Twitter, etc.  The people matter, and I love spending time teaching them  :)

Friday was the baptism!  Jose Guadalupe got baptized and was so happy - although he doesn't smile for pictures because he doesn't have many upper teeth.  But he was beaming and very excited.  In the morning, Hermana Mora, the Elders, and I cleaned the font and set up the room.  Then in the evening we filled the font and did the final touches.  So many of our investigators and less actives showed up!

Teodulo, Maria, Lulu, Irma, and the less active members with her nonmember son that we had invited on Thursday.  I could definitely feel the Spirit and I hope everyone else did too.  I know that baptism is so important - it is the door that leads us on the road back to our Heavenly Father.  When we are baptized by the proper authority and in the proper way, we can feel clean and guilt-free.  We can start over and choose to follow the Savior - which will make us happier than ever before.

Saturday was WAY FUN!! After lunch we picked up Hermana Fullmer from the central (her companion finished the mission and the Saturday before they go home, the missionaries spend Sunday with the mission president & his wife and then fly home Monday)  So in the afternoon, we were a trio!  It was great, and we all get along so well together  :)  It was Hermana Fullmer's birthday, so we bought her a mini-chocolate cake, and took come cute pictures together.

Okay Sunday = FANTASTIC!!  7 investigators attended church!  Jose received the gift of the Holy Ghost, and the classes were inspirational.  In the evening we had the Stake Christmas Devotional, which went well.  And then since the whole zone was present, afterwards we gathered in one of the classrooms and they announced our changes.  Okay this part of the day wasn't too fantastic because Hermana Mora and I found out that we are getting split up  :(  Nooo!  I am going to stay here in the area with my new companion named Hermana Gonzalez and Hermana Mora is going to Zacatecas (her companion will be Hermana Barlow :) )  Hermana Mora was pretty sad that we have changes and was crying a whole lot.  She and I have such a close friendship and we get along like sisters.  I am going to miss her soooo much.  When we returned to the house we helped Hermana Mora pack-up all her things  :(

I can't keep track of time anymore and can't believe how fast it's passing!  I have absolutely loved my time with Hermana Mora and have learned so much from her.  I am extremely grateful that we were able to spend these past few months together.

Something just came up and I've got to go.  Until next week ...

Hermana Eliason

[Other photos sent this week]

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Christmas Miracles

Monday we exercised at the Tongamanga Park again!  It felt so good to have a real work-out  :)  Then after cleaning the house, washing some clothes, and our daily studies, we went to the Capital.  All the stores have started putting up Christmas decorations and Hermana Mora and I encountered 2 huge Christmas Trees.  I LOVE the month of December!  We ate lunch at Subway and had a fun day together.  Hermana Mora is such good company and we get along so well.  I love making her laugh.  In the evening, we taught Corina (an investigator) more about the Plan of Salvation.  !!  She started crying and I probably gave her 20 hugs!  :)  It was very special.
When Hermana Perez and I saw each other at the central!!! note: her puffy eyes from crying...cute thing
Oh, and Hermana Perez & her companion were at the bus central because they needed to drop something off with the other STLs (Sister Trainer Leaders).  But it was SO GREAT to see her

On Tuesday, we taught a recent convert who owns a small jewelry store.  She lives next door to her shop, so she invited us to eat a late breakfast with her and we all enjoyed scrambled eggs with quesadillas & orange juice.  Her name is Xochitl (pronounced so-che-E), and she is super sweet.  Then we went to teach Lulu in her hair salon.  Lulu had a client that was getting her hair highlighted, but while the dye was setting they both participated in a short, but spiritual lesson.  At the end, the client said, "Can you come and teach me at my house too?"  :)  In the evening, we took the bus to Aguascalientes - since tomorrow is the first Wednesday of the month.  I was so happy to actually fall asleep & not get too car-sick.

Sister Brannelly, Sister Crosby and I spelling the word ONE! because this week we complete ONE YEAR in the mission!!

In the morning before the Counsel Meeting with all the leaders & the President, we all ate breakfast.  It was fun to catch up with the other STLs.  Hermana Crosby, Hermana Brannelly & I took some photos for our 1 year mark that's coming up next week!  ! 

In the meeting, we talked about several topics, but one in specific that I loved was the "He is the Gift" plan that the Church has created to help everyone remember the true meaning of Christmas this year.  It is the short video I shared on my FaceBook page.  Fun facts:  the Church bought one of the big TV spots on one of the main corners in Time Square, NYC that displays the "He is the Gift" image with the link that invites everyone to visit christmas.mormon.org.  Oh, and the Church also bought one of the main video spaces on the opening page of YouTube that shows the video!  So cool, right?! After the incredible meeting, we all ate lunch, took photos & headed back on the buses.  We all received so much mail & packages for Christmas.  I LOVE the advent calendar that my Mom made, because each day leading up to Christmas Day has a scripture, a hymn, a photo and a cute quote.  <3
It is so crazy how the time flies.

On Thursday, we visited several investigators.  Jose Guadalupe has his baptismal date set for next Friday!  And Lulu is trying to prepare for her baptism on the 19th, and then today Teodulo & Maria accepted a baptism date for the 26th!!  So, if all goes according to plan, we should be seeing lots of baptisms this month  :)
Here are some of the other STLs in the Colina house!

The Zone Meeting on Friday went well.  I taught the zone about the importance of setting goals.  I learned that aside from having goals, we also must make plans that will help us achieve those goals.  Oh, and in Spanish, goal = meta  and we learned that a goal must be:

  •           M  =  medible  (measurable)
  •           E  =  escrito  (written)
  •           T  =  tiempo  (given a specific time)
  •           A  =  alcanzable  (reachable)

If we all want to improve or change for the better, it is SO important to set goals.

In the afternoon / evening, we visited several investigators.
Heremana Mora and I

Saturday went really well!  We had several members accompany us with some of our investigators throughout the day.  In the evening, we visited Teodulo & Maria with a member named Claudia.  (Claudia got baptized 4 years ago and now is the seminary teacher.)  Since Sunday is the fast & testimony meeting, we decided to explain about fasting and tithing.  Hermana Mora and I were a bit nervous, but also anxious to see their reaction.  After explaining why we pay tithing & why it's important to fast, I felt at peace.  Although Teodulo & Maria didn't seem too excited about the idea, we could all feel the Spirit and they promised to come to church.
This was a little village that was set up in one of the houses we passed by! It is looking a lot like Christmas here!

Church was SOOOO GREAT!  The Bishop announced Jose Guadalupe's baptism that will take place this upcoming Friday, and Teodulo & Maria attended the Sacrament Meeting.  Before leaving after the first hour, Teodulo asked me if he could pay his tithing!  I was so touched by his faith and desire to complete [comply?] with the law of tithing, even thought he isn't a member yet!  I showed him & his wife how to fill out the tithing slip and then with big smiles, they gave their tithing envelope to the Bishop.  It was so incredible!  In the evening, we watched the Christmas devotional and I just felt great.  I love December!

All in all, a FANTASTIC week!

Thank you all for your love and support.

Hermana Eliason

Hermana Dibuje and I

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

No Thanksgiving Break for Me!

Hermana Mora and I both came to the realization that we need to exercise more and eat healthier.  So, on Monday we went to the Tangamonga Park and used the work out machines, then ran around a scenic dirt course 3 times  :)  We couldn't stop laughing at how out of shape we've become - because we were totally struggling for air as we jogged!  haha  In the afternoon we went to the capital to do some Christmas shopping and just enjoy the day together.  We ate lunch in a yummy restaurant and then had our email time.  I always love hearing from everyone during the hour of internet.  In the evening we taught 2 investigators that are both great.  It is so nice to encounter investigators who are humble, open & teachable.

Tuesday, Hermana Mora and I woke up SUPER sore!  We were laughing all day because of how ridiculously sore we felt  :)  We visited Lulu in the morning, who shared with us several experiences that she's had lately of people asking why she's so happy or what happened to the "old Lulu".  She told us that she feels more confident and optimistic, and is excited to go to church again!  Then, in the evening, we watched the movie about eternal families with Teodulo & Maria.  They really liked the video and are going to read about temples & family history work in their Gospel Principles' Manual  :)

On Wednesday, I worked with Hermana Rodriguez again!  But this time we spent the day in her area.  We taught 8 lessons and made several contacts - so you could say it was a good day.  We get along well together and had a really fun day together.

Me in the night cold!!  But we still work hard until 9 or 9:30pm
After lunch on Thursday we visited Teodulo & Maria, where they surprised us by saying they'd prepared food for us.  So we then ate again - and I just about exploded because I was so full!  But it was so thoughtful that we couldn't turn down the invitation.  And afterwards, we had an excellent lesson.  Their 8 year old granddaughter, Joseline, always tries to sit-in on the lessons and offers to read  :)  They are all so special to me.  Then in the evening we taught more investigators - including a mother with her 2 daughters, who are 25 & 17 years old.  They listen attentively and participate, so it is easy to feel the Spirit teach.

On Friday we received a lot of support from the members, because we had 3 different members visit our investigators with us throughout the day.  I love teaching with members and am so grateful for their testimonies and desires to serve.  It's still cold here, but a super nice Hermana gave Hermana Mora and I each fuzzy hats!  They keep us warm in the evenings and I even slept with mine because it's so soft & comfy  :)
Here we are with Hermana Maria Elena, who gave us the cute matching hats that we now use every day!

Okay, I have to admit that I was super nervous to teach Teodulo & Maria about the Word of Wisdom lesson because they always drink coffee with their homemade bread.  But thanks to lots of preparation, practices, and prayers, they were receptive and open during the lesson.  They told us that they were going to stop drinking coffee and committed to live The Word of Wisdom !  It was a great experience and I was so happy  :)
The big christmas tree in the centro It's beginning to look a lot like christmas :)

Sunday was the Primary Program!  It was so cute to see all the children sing and share their testimonies  :)  The mother & her two daughters that we visited on Thursday attended!  (Lorena, Frances & Michelle).  Also, Hermana Lulu showed up all on her own  :)  We had a nice evening and visited some recent converts and less actives.  I love Sundays because they are so peaceful and the church meetings always boost my spiritual battery.

Hope everyone had a fantastic Turkey Day!  I am so thankful for all of you  :)

Hermana Eliason